Seven

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Today, there were 7 beautiful babies at my house…7 happy, healthy and loved babies…4 playful boys and 3 princess girls…7 giggling, exploring, playing babies…7 hungry, squealing, crawling, running, eating babies.
Seven.
And now my heart is so overwhelmed; not in the sense of the amount of busyness, not in the aftermath of the volume of 7 excited voices…The quantity of laughter, squeals and noise is not the source of the heaviness I’m pondering now. Seven doesn’t cause me to stress or twitch uncontrollably. Seven is no match for me.
What tears at my heart is that these 7 will not be kissed by their Momma’s tonight. These seven will not be protected by their Daddy’s as they sleep.
These 7 are cared for, fed, rocked, kissed, protected and loved by another. The natural instincts of their Moms and Dads, have been wasted on selfish pleasures. The love of themselves out weighs the tender mercies of a parent that would do anything for their baby.
Now really, seven isn’t that large of a number. Teachers triple that number every single day and the number seven, compared to 400,00 is really minuet.
7<400,00. So why the comparison? These 7 are, or have been members of an exclusive club....Not in the sense of desirability, but in the actuality of neglect, abandonment and abuse. These seven, along with 400,00 others have been or are waiting in foster care. These 400,000+ precious lives are waiting. Waiting for a parent to choose them over themselves...Waiting for judges to rule in the child's best interest...Waiting for lawyers to finally present the evidence...Waiting for some imperfect humans to give them the perfect family...The perfect home. Waiting. Tonight, as I lie next to my sleeping husband, I think about these 7 and the 400,00 others. Thankfully, these seven loves that have stolen my heart, tonight, rest safely, peacefully. Their tummies are full. Their hair and toes are clean. They were rocked, kissed and hugged good night. Tonight they sleep peacefully as prayers surround them. Tonight the doors are locked and for one more night, these 7 have nothing to fear. Thankfully, 3 of these precious ones, will never remember the days of neglect...the nights of abuse...the fear of abandonment. My heart aches for the 4 still waiting permanency...The 400,000 waiting. Waiting. Now that I think about it any number of children waiting is too many. Seven is just my reality tonight.

6679

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Today I’ve been a mom for 18 years, 3 months and 12 days…6679 days. I’ve learned a lot in those blinks of the eye. For instance…

I’ve learned that milk soaked, honey flavored Kix, smell like a lot like a wet towel left on the floor for 13 days.

I’ve learned that if I had to choose between vomit and poop, I would choose poop. Every. Single. Day.

I’ve learned that it’s possible to clear an overcrowded laundromat with a gun and a few words…

I’ve learned how to grill 24 chicken thighs and turn them into 18 meals over the next 6 days.

I’ve learned that the fire department DOES come when a hotel fire alarm is pulled…

I’ve learned to recognize the body language of an 18 year old trying to “pull a fast one.”

I’ve learned how to stop a 4 year old’s melt-down with crossed eyes and a perfectly timed raspberry.

I’ve learned that vitamins not witnessed “down the hatch,” will be found behind the piano or in the sofa.

I’ve learned that boys are loud, fast and dirty…Really dirty.

I’ve learned that the days that came before I was a mom, were sometimes wasted selfishly.

I’ve learned that boys are disgusting and gross but sweet and perfect in the very same moment.

I’ve learned that spilled milk, sticky floors and laundry piles are precious gifts…

I’ve learned that silent moments in the middle of the night are so very comforting but so are baby snuggles at 3am.

I’ve learned that the pains labored in courtrooms, are as equally excruciating as those felt in a hospital room.

I’ve learned that profiles, memorized at supervised visits, look deep in my eyes when I kiss him goodnight.

I’ve learned so much since my days as a mom began…days that started with DNA…I’m so very thankful that my knowledge didn’t stop there.

I’ve learned that adoption makes me no less a mother and that DNA is not needed to give them life!

I’ve leaned that there will always be something to learn.

I’ve learned that there will always be “What ifs…” “What if we were still a family of 4…What if we would have said “No”…What if someone doesn’t get the attention they need…What if we outgrow our van…What if…

I’ve learned that each day can be a teacher. Every 6679 snaps of a finger…a faithful professor into tomorrow.

I will never know everything, but each day will add another lesson learned…Oh how thankful I am for those 6679 lessons learned.